2021 Camogie player of the year nominee Hannah Looney returns home from New York next week and will fall straight back in with the Cork camogie panel, manager Matthew Twomey has revealed.
The dual dynamo, who won All-Stars in both codes last year, moved to America for work purposes shortly after the conclusion of the 2021 inter-county season, but her imminent return strengthens Cork’s championship hand as the county bids to end a four-year wait for All-Ireland honours.
The Glen Dimplex All-Ireland camogie championship throws-in this weekend, with Cork away to Wexford on Saturday evening (Enniscorthy, 5pm). Their second group game, at home to Clare the following weekend, is likely where Looney will make her first appearance in red since last year’s All-Ireland final defeat to Galway, a game where she hit 0-2 from midfield.
2021 Cork captain Linda Collins, who also emigrated late last year, remains abroad and so will not figure for Cork this summer.
“Since I took the job on, I have been in regular contact with Hannah,” said Twomey, who is in his debut season at the helm.
“At the moment now, we are talking almost every day and getting ready for her return. She has been training away over there and we have been sending her over a program for the last couple of months. She's been very diligent, in fairness.
“A player like her, but more importantly a personality like her, she'd be huge coming back in. She is back next week and will be straight into the mix.” On the injury front, Olivia McAllen, who started at half-back in last Saturday’s extra-time Munster final win over Clare, has since injured her leg and so will sit out the trip to Enniscorthy, as will Clíona Healy, who is still not fully recovered from her hamstring pull on the evening of Cork’s League final defeat.
Regular centre-back Laura Treacy, who missed the provincial decider because of a slight injury, is available for selection this weekend.
"The ones who were struggling for fitness got a lot of game-time on Saturday (double extra-time was required). We were hoping Orla Cronin would get half an hour. She ended up getting over an hour. That is good.” Cronin’s DRA case, which stemmed from the red card she received in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final, still has not been brought to a conclusion, although the Enniskeane forward is free to line out in the county's upcoming championship games.